Lake Natron

Lake Natron is a salt and soda lake in Arusha Region in northern Tanzania. The lake is close to the Kenyan border and is in the Gregory Rift, which is the eastern branch of the East African Rift.The lake is within the Lake Natron Basin, a Ramsar Site wetland of international significance.

The lake is fed principally by the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River, which rises in central Kenya, and by mineral-rich hot springs

High levels of evaporation have left behind natron (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and trona (sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate). The alkalinity of the lake can reach a pH of greater than 12. The surrounding bedrock is composed of alkaline, sodium-dominated trachyte lavas that were laid down during the Pleistocene period. The lavas have significant amounts of carbonate but very low calcium and magnesium levels. This has allowed the lake to concentrate into a caustic alkaline brine.

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